HONOLULU (KHON2) — On Monday, Feb. 14, Hawaii Senate recommended the passing of a bill that would amend the medical cannabis law in Hawaii to allow any individual 65 or older to use cannabis for medical purposes. 

This bill seeks to amend the current verbiage from “qualifying patient” to anyone 65 or older to use cannabis medicinally regardless of whether they have been diagnosed with a condition that would make them eligible. 

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This passage did come with a little push back from the Attorney General on its current wording of the bill. 

In testimony by the Department of the Attorney General, it was stated the measure may present an age discrimination issue. 

They also stated the preamble identifies the debilitating or chronic conditions that this measure seeks to address as “insomnia, stress, and other issues.” However, no rationale is given for allowing all senior citizens access to cannabis, regardless of their medical condition.

Randy Gonce, Executive Director of the Hawaii Cannabis Industry Association, sent in a testimony in support of the new bill. 

With a vote of 3-0 the Senate Health Committee ultimately recommended the passing of this new bill with some amendments. 

For instance, making sure the age limit is clearly stated in the bill and reminding those who do qualify that the possession limits still apply. 

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The committee then deferred the effective date of the bill to January 1, 2050, a common legislative practice in Hawaii, signaling the measure will be discussed and revised later.